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Smacking ban comments 'chilling for parents'

Judith Collins MP
National Party Families Spokeswoman

14 June 2006

Smacking ban comments ‘chilling for parents’

National Party Families spokesman Judith Collins says the comments by a lawyer with first-hand experience of Sweden’s smacking ban “are a chilling warning to Kiwi parents”.

Swedish family lawyer Ruby Harrold Claesson says in her country a law to ban smacking has resulted in hundreds of prosecutions against parents.

Ruby Harrold Claesson said on Radio New Zealand today: ‘Parents are afraid of their children. They do not dare do anything because … the children can report them at any time and if they are reported, then that breaks up the families because the children are invariably taken into care and put in foster homes.’

“The police in New Zealand have already confirmed that if Section 59 is repealed then smacking, or even restraining a child, would technically be against the law,” says Mrs Collins.

“It’s naiive for Helen Clark and the anti-smacking brigade to argue that parents who lightly smack their children have nothing to worry about. It’s naiive for them to say the police won’t be expected to make judgment calls on parents who use a light smack to discipline their children.

“No one condones violent assaults on children, but repealing Section 59 is not the way to stop them. Those who break the law now are unlikely to stop just because Section 59 is gone,” says Mrs Collins.


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